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Four years in the lives of four home economics students at Iowa State University.
This movie is part of the collection: Cooking - movies
Producer: Iowa State Teachers' College
Sponsor: Iowa State Teachers' College
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Gender roles; Home economics; Colleges and universities
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Bright Future
Go to college and become a tea room manager. Say- there's a great way to utilize that degree...
Subject: Do I really need a title?
I thought it was a very interesting as well as compelling piece of film history to show us how things have changed dramatically over the last 50 to 60 years, in an era where a woman who hasn't married by the time she was 30, she was considered a "spinster".
Of course if this film were made today, it would be laughed out the high schools it was shown at with teenage girls knowing that they would not be doomed to a life as little suzie homemaker, they know better.
It was just a funny, kitschy, and somewhat archaic (as archaic as the term "spinster")piece of mid-20th century Americana that stated that if you were born female that you could enter the workforce, but you were obviously doomed to a life as a "Stepford Wife", but all in all, this flim grabbed your attention and all four girls were likeable and it was fun to watch them go through their stay at Iowa State. I will say though that I loved the design that Jean was silkscreening on that fabric, I wish I could find something like that, because that was kind of cool, campy, and retro....(what was that any way? Curtains? A tablecloth? Bedspread? Who knows...)
Richard Olmsted -
Subject: Wrong School
This is a curious period piece. Just to look at it gives a correct, but now almost unbelievable impression of how girls were treated in the fifties.
However, the film was not made at the Iowa State Teachers College, a place where I graduated a few years after this film was made (B.A., 1960). There was no "Home Economics Hall" at the Iowa State Teachers College. For a short time in the 60's that institution was named State College of Iowa and now called the University of Northern Iowa. This film was made at Iowa State College in Ames (now Iowa State University). Ames was the home of the land grant college and the place to go for Home Economics in the 1950's.
Subject: Preparing for a career in homemaking
Part two follows Kay, Helen, Jean and Louise as they decide what theyÂll major in college Home Economics at Iowa State. Despite its humorously amateurish production values, this film makes clear how limited the opportunities for young women in higher education were along with the widespread fear that a college education would make girls unfit for marriage. The film, which was probably intended to be seen by high school girls and their parents, goes out of its way to reassure its viewers that the girlsÂ academic work wonÂt make them less marriageable. Male students could pursue a course of study for its own sake, but for these girls, their work could only be done with the pretext of being a better and more efficient housewife at what the male narrator calls Âtheir second careersÂmaking a home.Â Chemistry is taught by using cooking classes (and an unappetizing pot of tomato soup) and learning to remove stains from dresses. Art is taught as way to decorate a home. Teaching children will make a girl a better mother. All the girlsÂ studies are done with the end of being ultimately Âuseful.Â The films ends with the girls graduating and standing together on a train platform in Iowa as Jean and Louise head to the big city to job hunt. They got a college education the only way their families and the larger society would allow. The narrator ominously reminds them that Âmuch depends on getting along with others. People are more important than things.Â In other words girls, donÂt get any big ideas.
Subject: Meanwhile, in another universe..
Very whopper laden tale of four girls taking HoemEconomics at college. If you thought HE was just textiles and food, well you're WRONG1 It also includes Physics! and Chemistry1 The narrator is quick to point our however, that all of this can be tied in with house work.As a matter of fact, some people take the HE courses in college for a career as being a house wife! Oh brother. Very strange, badly edited and highly reccomended!